a bit windy
After a long and snowy winter, the first day where you can step outside without a jacket is always special. Today was no exception. In fact, the weather seemed to skip right over spring temperatures and jumped right to summer. It was glorious. 80 degrees in March!
It would have been perfect except it was a bit windy. Actually, it was more than a bit windy.
It was windy as hell. I would put the gusts between 15 and 20 mph. As I was walking around the neighbor and enjoying the sunshine I had to acknowledge that it would have been a difficult day for a picnic. The blanket blowing around and knocking things over and such.
I felt a momentary pang of sadness for the folks that had seen the forecast and hurried out to a local park, wicker basket and Frisbee in hand. If the wind caught it right, the first toss of the Frisbee would be the last. It would end up several counties away.
Of course, it could be worse for those picnic-goers.
Like if they decided to try having a picnic on Neptune. Have you ever been opening a container of potato salad and had a gust of wind blow it out of your hand? Pieces of potato and egg flying all over the place and you running after the lid like a moron?
Imagine that scenario if the winds were 1,200 mph. Not only that, but you’d have to chase the potato salad lid through clouds of frozen methane. Once it slipped out of your grasp I’m afraid recovering it might not be possible.
At least there wouldn’t be any ants trying to make off with your hot dog buns.
Sound a little blustery for your tastes?
People attempting to picnic on planet HD 209458b have very little sympathy for people picnicking on Neptune. “You think you’ve got problems? How I wish we had wind speeds of only 1,200 mph at the last cookout ” they would sneer. “Maybe Billy would still have his arms!”
If they knew the circumstances of Billy’s injury perhaps the devotees of Neptunian fête champêtres would reply that perhaps Billy should have heeded his parent’s warning and not tried to fly his kite. Probably for the best that they are unaware of this wrinkle. Billy’s parents might be a little touchy on the subject.
Given that wind speeds on planet HD 209458b reach 4,500 mph, picnicking on a blanket is right out. I would imagine that it would take a picnic table made from the insides of a neutron star to stay in place. Given that a teaspoon of the stuff weighs around a billions tons (the same as Mt. Everest), I’m pretty confident that a table weighing 3.7 trillion tons isn’t going anywhere.
The BBQ tongs on the other hand… hold on tight.
Obviously when on planet HD 209458b silverware is suggested over lighter plastic utensils.
Same with Neptune, to be on the safe side.
On the plus side, you can hurl a Frisbee to start your weenie-roast on Neptune, enjoy the company of friends for awhile and then return three days and eight hours later to watch the Frisbee go flying past you.
And none of those annoying swarms of gnats.
But call me a homer, I’ll still take good ol’ planet Earth for my picnic. When the winds calm down a bit of course.